I was just checking out the Scott Polar Research Institute website and I came across these two very attractive drawings, from the early stages of the Franklin Expedition, by Lt. Graham Gore here and here. Both were sent by Gore to Lady Franklin from Disko Bay.
They show what an excellent artist Gore was and one can’t help speculating what other pictures he may have left on board the Erebus.
Quite remarkable news – the announcement of the relocation of HMS Terror, and in Terror Bay of all places.
This just shows how complex it is going to be to understand the story of the Franklin Expedition. One thing is for sure and that is that the idea of a ‘death march’ following the abandonment of the ships in 1848, the story reconstructed from the Victory Point note, is going to have to be set aside. Both ships clearly were remanned after their 1848 ‘desertion’. And, jumping the gun again, surely the encampment known to have been sited in Terror Bay must have been the ‘Terror Camp’ referenced in the Peglar Pocket book.
The Guardian seems to have got the scoop here.
There are several points here which are quite remarkably interesting:
- The ship’s anchor appears to have been deployed, suggesting she was either at anchor or moored to an ice-sheet at the time that she sank.
- The ship’s funnel appears to have been deployed, suggesting that she may have arrived, or been prepared for sailing, as a steamer.
- The ship’s bell is visible, meaning that both bells from the Erebus and the Terror have survived – barely believable.
- Since apparently there is so little damage that the bowsprit and some cabin glass is still in place, one wonders whether those pieces of broken timber recovered by Rae may have been from the Erebus?
- And most of all, there is certainly evidence of cannibalism at the ‘boat places’ of Erebus Bay, which is well to the NORTH of the locations of both ships. What was going on?
I’m sure there is much we will learn over the ensuing years. One thing is for sure, most reconstructions of the story of the Franklin Expedition up to now are certainly wrong!
Author and researcher William Battersby’s new blog giving news and views of the Franklin Expedition and HMS Erebus and Terror